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zealand. cleanup will be long and starts now. people on the south island are still measuring the damage from that powerful weekend earthquake we were first to tell you about here on cnn. 7.1 magnitude. some after shocks have already registered nearly that much. we'll stay on top of that one as well for you. thanks so much for being with us here on "rick's list." we'll continue to give you as much information as we can. tonight the primetime edition of "rick's list." i'm rick sanchez. here is wolf blitzer. thanks very much, rick. happening now a fiery president obama using tough, new rhetoric to describe opposition he is facing here in washington and around the country saying and i'm quoting the president right now, they talk about me like a dog. plus the mid term campaign season plowing full speed ahead. just as new polling reveals even more potential trouble for democrats come november. we're tracking the most heated races in the country with the
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best political team on television. we'll go live to the cnn election express. and a top u.s. military official in afghanistan issues a stern new warning. why he says the safety of american troops, young men and women, on the ground in afghanistan, right now, could be at risk if americans start burning the koran. we're only a few weeks away from an election that could change the political balance of power in the country. with only 57 days left in the race a new cnn opinion research corporation poll now gives republicans a seven-point lead over democrats in the battle for congress. 52% of voters support a republican candidate while 45% of voters back a democrat. we're covering this story from a number of angles. dan lothian is over at the white house.
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brianna keilar is monitoring the situation on capitol hill. jessica yellin will join us live from the cnn election express in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. but president obama right now on fire. the president came out swinging at critics today while defending his efforts to stimulate the economy. he did not hold back. >> i want it to thrive. i want it to be stronger than it was before. over the last two years that's meant taking on some powerful interests. some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in washington for a very long time. they're not always happy with me. they talk about me like a dog. that's not in my prepared remarks. it's just -- but it's true. >> let's get some more on this dramatic speech in milwaukee, wisconsin. joining us is our white house correspondent, dan lothian. we haven't seen the president
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fired up like this in a while, dan. he really came out and he started hitting. >> he did. he was very fired up. it felt very much like a campaign rally. when it comes to fixing the economy the president says that he doesn't believe in the words, "no we can't" and he rolled out that chant from 2008, "yes we can" but some critics see the timing of the big push as suspect and they say that the president should have started doing these proposals a long time ago. >> in milwaukee, wisconsin, as in most cities across the country, people worry about the economy. glimmers of hope dashed by sobering economic news. from local politicians to the president, there is pressure to deliver. >> i think they need to say they're going to create jobs, how they're going to do it, and when. >> reporter: two months before the critical mid term elections president obama returned to wisconsin to offer up solutions while admitting he doesn't have a silver bullet. >> it would take more time than any of us want to dig ourselves out of this hole, created by
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this economic crisis. >> reporter: the president is pushing congress for $50 billion to invest in infrastructure, roads, rails, airport runways. and later in the week when he heads to cleveland, ohio, $100 billion for research and development tax credits. the goal? prod companies to ultimately hire more people. but top democrats and republicans on capitol hill are skeptical the president's two proposals can pass congress. and mr. obama used new language to paint a blunt picture of the resistance he is facing in washington. >> they're not always happy with me. they talk about me like a dog. >> reporter: republican senator john mccain was more respectful than that but still criticized the president for flailing around and accused him of pushing economic proposals on the eve of the mid-term elections to bail out democrats. >> always liked to see death bed conversions but the fact is if we'd have done this kind of thing nearly a couple years ago
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we'd be in a lot better shape. >> of course the white house completely rejects that, saying that the president was pushing for infrastructure investments within his first month in office and that within the first hundred days in office he got the stimulus plan of more than $800 billion which this administration believes stabilized the economy, stopped that bleeding, and kept the economy from going off a cliff. wolf? >> it's curious, dan. the senior senator from wisconsin, herb kohl, who is not up for re-election, was with the president in milwaukee today. the junior senator russ feingold who is up for re-election facing a tough fight this year decided he was going to do a labor day event in his hometown. instead of showing up in milwaukee where the president is. what are white house officials saying? >> mr. feingold said while other people have tried to distance themselves from the president that he is not one of those people. he is supporting this big push by the president. what's interesting, though, is that the white house when they sent out their press release for the day thought it was important at the bottom and i don't know if you can see at the bottom
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here i put it in yellow. they made a note that senator feingold would not be able to be there whilt president was there because he was attending an event he attends every year. so if they thought it was important to put this information out there because they figured there would be a lot of questions. >> and there certainly were. i'm sure in the wisconsin press especially. thanks very much. dan lothian. let's get to capitol hill right now where president obama's new economic proposals are already generating controversy. our congressional correspondent brianna keilar doing a little reality fact check for us. what are the prospects that what the president wants, what he announced today, this infrastructure plan, what he is likely to announce on wednesday in cleveland will be passed and enacted into law? >> reporter: wolf, virtually no chance. that's what we're hearing not only from top republican leadership aides but top democratic leadership aides. we were hearing this today even before the president formally announced his first of these two proposals. both sides blaming each other for this. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said today in a written statement after failing
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to deliver on their economic promises for more than 18 months, the administration wants to do it again, this time with higher taxes to pay for even more new spending. his reference to taxes there, that has to do with closing tax loop holes for oil and gas companies which is how the president wants to pay in part for these measures. and republicans say that this is a cost that will be passed on to consumers. democrats for their part are saying, no. this is just republicans being obstinate trying to deprive us of any legislative victory just weeks before the hotly contested mid-term elections. jim manly who is the spokesman for senate majority leader harry reid told cnn this is just another excuse to say no. he said we believe additional efforts are needed. republicans do not and doing nothing is not an option, wolf. >> i guess one issue is whether it's even feasible right now, brianna, for the congress between now and the november 2nd mid term elections to really debate and discuss and resolve these matters.
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>> because congress returns from recess next week and they're likely only going to be in session for less than a month before they leave washington again for the mid term elections. the senate, where the legislative process has been almost at a stand still for, you know, recent months, has a number of bills that it still needs to move, including measures to fund the government, set defense policy, and then democrats also plan to tackle that controversial issue of whether to extend the bush era tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year. so republicans are insisting the democrats are not serious about pushing these economic measures because it just, you know, they don't have the time when you look at the current congressional schedule. but democrats are saying, look. we have to keep pushing economic initiatives despite the obstacles here both political and logistical that we're facing brianna keilar working the story on capitol hill, thank you. so just how hard is it for democrats right now who want to get re-elected? our national political correspondent jessica yellin is with the cnn election express in
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pennsylvania right now. a key battleground state. one democratic lawmaker is actually running against his own party in some of his own commercials, jessica. what does this say about what's going on for democrats right now? >> well, wolf, it says that many democrats feel that their own party doesn't have a coherent message. they don't have a strong message. and that they're not helpful in these races. case in point is jason altmeyer, pennsylvania's fourth district. he is a second-term member of the house of representatives. a democrat who as you say is running against his own party in a district that john mccain won handily in the last election. he obviously has to appeal to voters who are split between democratic and republican leanings and he is doing it with an ad, i'll play it right now, but let me say he makes point after point that he has broken with his party on every major issue. listen. >> voted against health care.
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>> jason opposed the wall street bailout. >> i like that jason altmire is not afraid to stand up to the president and nancy pelosi. >> he fights for folks here. >> it is a message he also echoes when he talks to us and on the trail his message is i'm a democrat but not like them, wolf. >> some people are raising the logical question i guess, why should he stay as a democrat if he is running against so many of the democratic party issues? >> reporter: right. i asked him that question and he said he feels that this year there have been some missteps and that the party has got sort of lost its way on some issues. my words not his. he used the word "missteps." his key point was health care reform. that is the pride sort of and joy, the thing he is most proud of bragging about that he voted no on health care reform and he says it pays dividends every day. i interviewed him and asked him about it. listen to what he said. >> for me, i think health care is a factor because i voted against the bill. not a day goes by where somebody doesn't come up to me at a community festival or restaurant
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or just out of the high school football game and say, thank you for standing up. thank you for listening to your constituents and voting against that bill. so for me i think it's a positive. >> reporter: and, wolf, he says his own polling shows him with a healthy lead so he seems to be doing well running as a democrat who is not with the party on major issues. >> there's a whole lot of other democrats that call themselves blue dog democrats who probably feel very much like jason altmire in other parts of the country especially in the south. jessica, thanks very much. jessica is with the cnn election express in pittsburgh. a florida church's plan to burn the koran this saturday sparks anger in afghanistan and beyond. a top u.s. general says the congregation's september 11 protest could endanger american troops in afghanistan and around the world. and this year's 9/11 anniversary comes up as ramadan ends. will muslims tone down their celebration this year?
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war effort. general david petraeus telling "the wall street journal" it's the kind of action the taliban will exploit and could ramp up the danger for young american men and women serving throughout the islamic world. his fears were echoed today by the men overseeing nato's training mission in afghanistan. >> we're over here to defend the rights of the american citizens and we're not debating the first amendment rights that people have. but what i will tell you is that their very actions will in fact jeapordize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission that we're trying to accomplish. >> we'll have the full story of my interview with lieutenant general caldwell in its entirety coming up in the next hour here in "the situation room." but there is potential for real serious trouble. meanwhile, there is a new proposal potentially in the works which could mean more u.s. troops in afghanistan. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr.
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what are you hearing? >> well, wolf, you thought the war in iraq was ending. well, now welcome to the war in afghanistan. sorry we're having technical problems. let me take that ear piece out. what is happening is that now there is a requirement for 2,000 additional troops in afghanistan. about 750 of them would be trainers and the balance would be i.e.d. troops, troops that can go after the road side bombs and improvised explosive devices. what is happening is all of this is now being debated behind closed doors at nato and they're trying to see if the europeans will come up with some of those troops. if not, they may well turn to the united states because it is u.s. troops that have that kind of technical expertise. so it may mean that more u.s. troops will be spending coming holiday christmas season in the war in afghanistan. wolf? >> i'll wait until you can hear me, barbara. >> i'm good now. >> i assume you can.
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when i interviewed general caldwell, we'll have the interview in the next hour here in "the situation room. he basically confirmed they need more troops. the 100,000 u.s. troop level isn't necessarily going to be enough. they need to train more, they need more experts in i.e.d.s. exactly what you're reporting right now. i guess the question is how much higher does general petraeus really want to go? 100,000? they've already basically doubled or tripled the number of u.s. troops who were serving when president obama took office. do they have contingency plans for under 50,000 u.s. troops, 200,000 troops? what do they need? >> reporter: you know, wolf, it is hard to say at this point. i think on a practical level general petraeus most likely is not interested in going much higher. because when you start accelerating the number of troops, you need them then to have support troops. you need aviation to help them move around. you need somebody to cook the meals, to provide security, and basically that is going to create such a large foot print
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in afghanistan it may lead to only more hostility against that foreign presence which is u.s. troops. so they're really trying to keep it to a minimum. this increase is very focused, very strategic. train more afghan forces and get a handle on the i.e.d.s that are still the number one threat for both the coalition forces there and for afghan civilians. it is at a crisis stage with the i.e.d.s. they have to really get a handle on that threat, wolf. >> it'll be interesting as you point out if these 2,000 requested troops are all from the united states or if any of the nato allies step up to the plate, and decide to send more, we know there is fierce opposition in a lot of those european capitals as to what is going on in afghanistan right now. barbara starr is reporting. thank you. this saturday is september 11, the anniversary of al qaeda's attack on the world trade center and the pentagon. it also marks the end of ramadan, a time in the islamic world for feasting and celebration marking the end of
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the fast. mary snow is joining us from new york with more. this is a clash of two significant events, mary. as you know, the end of ramadan, the ninth anniversary of 9/11. so it's a sensitive time for muslims to be celebrating the end of ramadan but that's what muslims do. >> reporter: right. but this year will be different because there is a fear that any celebrations will be misconstrued. so in some cases events have been canceled or moved so they won't coincide with the anniversary of september 11 and there's worry. afternoon prayers at the islamic center of long island. as ramadan draws to a close, later this week, these worshipers are being advised to tone down what is usually a celebratory occasion. >> after 30 days of fasting this is the day for our celebration. >> reporter: how will it be different this year? >> this year will be a little different. we are not celebrating the
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normal way we do. >> reporter: because? >> because of 9/11. >> reporter: the end of ramadan or ede depending on the moon thursday night falls on either friday or saturday which is september 11. but many muslims have decided to mark it on friday. imam latif is the head of the islamic leadership council in new york, an umbrella group of muslim organizations. >> i guess people may think, look at ede and protest against people who may be celebrating. >> reporter: one muslim group for example celebrates at six flags park. this year organizers have been careful not to schedule their events for september 11. it comes against the backdrop over anger about the proposed islamic center near ground zero and protests at other mosques around the country. muslims are trying to send out their own message, like this public service announcement created for grass roots efforts. >> i don't want to take over this country. >> reporter: one muslim leader who works with an interfaith youth group in chicago says he feels the attitude toward muslims this year is unlike any other. >> frankly, i have not felt this
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fearful. a mother came up to me at my muslim house of worship earlier this week and said to me, ebu, when will my 8 and 10-year-old sons stop being bullied on the playground because of their names? and what i said to her is very soon. very soon. because the forces of inclusion in america have always defeated the forces of intolerance and they will defeat the forces of intolerance again. rnks this 9/11 th >> reporter: this 9/11 this mosque in new york will dedicate a peace park with other clergy but has asked local police for protection following an incident of broken windows at the mosque. imam latif has said his group won't hold a counterprotest saturday supporting the islamic center near ground zero after the families of 9/11 requested they not hold the rally. >> they are encouraging our people to be calm, patient, firm, and strong.
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and to reach out. you know. >> reporter: and mosques like the islamic center of long island are opening their doors to hold open houses and a coalition of muslim groups has announced a national day of service for september 11. wolf? what a sensitive series of issues coming together at the same time, mary. thanks very much. mary snow in new york. growing fears about the fate of an iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning. why there are now reports she has undergone 99 lashings. plus could your next flight be missing a copilot? one airline could be considering precisely that. we were actually thinking, maybe... we're going to hike up here, so we'll catch up with you guys. [ indistinct talking and laughter ] whew! i think it's worth it. working with a partner you can trust is always a good decision.
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good news. kate bolduan is here monitoring some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. the son of an iranian woman sentenced to death for stoning for adultery says he is extremely worried. there are conflicting reports right now but his attorney says he was told she received 99 lashes for another offense. a misidentified photo of a bare headed woman without a head scarf appeared and the son fears
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she will be put to death after ramadan ends. the former british prime minister tony blair's office released a statement in which blair said he doesn't want the public inconvenienced. the decision came after protesters were arrested at a book store in dublin where blair was promoting his new book. they were protesting his role in the afghan and iraqi wars. the ceo of dublin based ryan air is ruffling travelers' feathers once again with a suggestion that, get this, a copilot is unnecessary on every flight. michael o'leary told bloomberg business week that a flight attendant could be trained to take over from the pilot in the event of an emergency. in the past he has suggested things like paying for toilets and standing room only tickets on commercial flights. remember your change, wolf, if you're going to be flying on ryan air. >> i think that guy wants some publicity because, god forbid, a pilot has a heart attack and dies. you want another pilot in there not a flight attendant landing
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the plane. >> the flight attendant has enough to worry about is my opinion. >> i agree completely. thanks very much, kate. a tough congressional race that takes shape in suburban philadelphia. will a shift in issues put the democratic incumbent seat in jeopardy? plus, unavoidable mechanical failure or criminal negligence? bp's failed blowout preventer becomes exhibit a in a federal investigation of events leading investigation of events leading if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, you may also have very high triglycerides -- too much fat in the blood. it's a serious medical condition. lovaza, along with diet, effectively lowers very high triglycerides in adults but has not been shown to prevent heart attacks or strokes. lovaza starts with omega-3 fish oil that's then purified and concentrated. it's the only omega-3 medication that's fda-approved. you can't get it at a health food store. lovaza isn't right for everyone. tell your doctor if you're allergic to fish, have other medical conditions
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you're in the situation room. happening now speculation growing that north korean leader kim jong-il is preparing to transfer power to his third son. more of the same? or is the country in for some change? stand by. craigslist under fire for promoting online prostitution. now critics applauding a move by the site to censor its adult ads. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it's a neck and neck congressional race in suburban philadelphia where voters' concerns have changed since the last time these candidates faced
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off four years ago. what was outrage over the war in iraq has now morphed into frustration with the ailing economy. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is with the cnn election express in pittsburgh right now but you spend some time in suburban philadelphia watching this race and it's fascinating what it says, dana. >> it absolutely is. it was bucks county we went to. it is in eastern pennsylvania, the eighth congressional district. and we went there because it's one of those places here in pennsylvania that barack obama helped change from majority republican to majority democrat in registration and yet now just two years later, wolf, the incumbent democratic congressman patrick murphy isn't sure he will find enough votes to keep his seat. why is this a tough race? >> well, it's a tough environment. i mean, people are hurting out there. people are looking for work. our economy, you know, the bush administration and mike fitzpatrick ran into a ditch and we're trying to make sure we grow jobs. >> this race is a rematch from
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2006. then patrick murphy, an iraq war veteran, won in a very anti-war environment. now the republican thinks the problems here in this district means he can make a comeback. >> how are you? >> why do you think this time around you can beat patrick murphy? >> well, the economy is much different. first of all, the people are talking about economic issues. when i stop in a business or knock on somebody's door they want to talk about the national debt, annual budget deficit, taxes, out of control government spending and a lack of jobs. >> we came here to this busy corner in idyllic new town, pennsylvania to get a sense of the voters' mood. we ran into george, who turned out to be exhibit a of the democrats' worries this election year. >> i voted for president obama or democrat this time. i will not do it again. i need a change. he is sounding good. all the democrats did. they don't sound good anymore because they're not doing the job they promised they would do. >> reporter: he took us down the
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street to his flooring shop where business is very slow. >> everybody is cutting, cutting. so in turn they're not digging in their pocket to buy a luxury item like a floor. >> reporter: in return you have to cut. >> in turn we have to cut our employees. i don't have the work. and we suffer. we eat hot dogs instead of steak now. >> reporter: literally? literally. we got a new president. we thought maybe something would happen and it just got worse. >> reporter: because of that, in november it doesn't sound like you're going to vote for the democratic congressman. >> no. no. >> reporter: boy, that's the ultimate protest vote, huh? >> it is. people are ticked off at washington and so am i. that's why i'm home every weekend. >> reporter: they think you are washington. >> well, i would say that i still, i'm here every day. >> have a good labor day. >> i could tell thaw the folks in this district see that i helped bring back over 3,000 jobs. >> hey, guys. >> reporter: the two candidates differ oon number of issues that
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affect peoples lives in this suburban philadelphia district. take health care reform. murphy voted for it. fitzpatrick? >> i would repeal it and immediately replace it. >> reporter: but this is the republican candidate's reframe. >> congressman murphy has not been independent. he has been a rubber stamp for the bad national policies of nancy pelosi. >> reporter: do you feel you are a kindred spirit with nancy pelosi? >> listen. i tell people it's not who you vote with. it's who you fight for. i fight for the middle class families in my district. listen, sometimes the democrats are wrong. i'm frustrated with democrats, too, in washington. but when they're wrong i vote against them. when they're right i vote with them. >> reporter: now, democratic sources familiar with this race tell us that six months ago it really wasn't a concern for democrats nationally and now it is, wolf. we're told the internal polls really do show it neck and neck as far as the democrats are concerned and that's why this grudge match could be a leading indicator as to whether there really is a big republican wave on election day.
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>> you're absolutely right. those suburban philadelphia districts are bellwethers for not only the state but for elsewhere as well. dana reporting for us from the cnn election express. let's go in depth now with our senior political analyst david gergen. you and i remember another suburban philadelphia district in '94, marjorie margolie the incumbent democratic congresswoman who voted for bill clinton's tax increases, economic plan. she lost her bid for re-election. we could see similar activity going on this time, david. >> absolutely. what is striking, wolf, is how many democrats are moving away from national themes. they're trying to localize these races not nationalize them. ordinarily if you're the incumbent party you want to go to the country and say look at the three things we've done for you. politico is reporting now that not a single democrat in the house who voted for the national health care reform plan is running any advertisements on health care. isn't that striking? >> it is very striking since it's the signature achievement
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if you listen to the white house. they don't talk a lot about it but it certainly is one of their signature achievements over the past year and a half. one of the major decisions will involve money and the national democratic leadership is going to have to decide where to send money in and where to send money out. in other words, which democratic lawmakers who are in trouble will live and who will die? these are not easy decisions, david. >> they're not. they're going to be a decision largely made by the democratic national congressional campaign committee run by chris van hollen of maryland. and in this case, wolf, what they're trying to do by all accounts is they'll take a certain number of people, the next two weeks they'll decide basically, here are the ones we think we can't save. they'll pull their money out and redirect it to campaigns where they think it is very close. for example, there is a rising star in the democratic party by the name of tom perriello running from southeastern
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virginia. he is in a fairly conservative district. he had the courage to vote for health care reform, financial reform, the bailout, and now is getting killed on that. he is 15 or 20 points behind. that is a district where they may pull the money even though he is a rising star and put it in that district where dana bash is that didn't seem close before but now is close. they want to save that seat and they have a real fighting chance there. >> these are going to be really tough, wrenching decisions. >> very hard decisions. you have tom perriello, he had the future written all over him. he'll come back in politics i hope somewhere but that's the kind of person you want to see stay in politics. >> yes. all right. we'll see what hamppens. thank you. a fast moving wildfire endangering areas in and around colorado's four mile canyon. we'll have an update. one official calls it chilling in its callousness. the details of the killing of a pizza delivery man. beh d the th they just thought of everything. it just feels like a really solid car.
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uh, absolutely. trade? and i still get great service? more like super great. oh, you have a message. "hello." calculator humor. i'll be here all week. i will -- that was my schedule. the freedom to name your price. now, that's progressive. call or click today. kate is back monitoring some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. >> we're talking about another tropical storm, tropical storm hermane is gaining strength after forming off of mexico in the gulf of mexico where hurricane watches are already in eaffection off mexico and texas. the national hurricane center says it is packing 60-mile-per-hour winds and could reach hurricane strength before making landfall in mexico late today or early tomorrow. it could dump up to 12 inches of rain in texas. wow. and a fast moving wildfire fueled by winds gusting to 45
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miles an hour has prompted the shutdown of some roads and evacuation of a large area in and around colorado's four mile canyon. a spokesman for the boulder county sheriff's department says the exact number of the evacuees and the size of the fire are still a bit unclear. he did say they are investigating reports of structures lost in the highly populated region. listen to this horrible story. three men are in custody in boston for killing a pizza delivery man an act the district attorney calls chilling in its callousness. that's a quote from him. a cnn affiliate cites police as saying two teenagers and a 20-year-old broke into a vacant home then called for pizza. they allegedly stabbed the delivery man to death and stole his car, money, and the pizza. cnn has learned that a high school social studies teacher in south carolina plans to launch a write-in campaign for u.s. senate this week. greg snow whose facebook page you see right here says the goal is to offer independents,
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republicans, and democrats what he calls a, quote, chance to make a symbolic vote. republican jim demint is currently being challenged by a surprise democratic primary winner and political neophyte alvin greene. you know he is new to the political scene when we have to show his facebook page. the only picture we have. >> jim demint seems to be in pretty solid shape. i don't think he has to worry, at least right now. thanks very much. a new cnn poll shows republicans making serious inroads among independent voters. can the democrats survive if the independent votes shift? we're taking a closer look at the numbers in our strategy session. in new zealand how smoking helped save a cab driver's life. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ]
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let's get right to our strategy session. joining us our cnn contributor the democratic strategist donna brazile and david from a former speechwriter for president bush and contributor to cnn.com as well. let's talk about some poll numbers. a brand new cnn opinion research corporation poll, seems to be a contradiction here. we asked the question about the current economic conditions in the country. right now only 18% think the economy is in good shape. 81% think the economy is in poor shape. but then we followed up, who is more responsible for the current economic problems? 53% said bush and the republicans. 33% said obama and the democrats. 10% both equally. david, so if more people blame bush and the republicans why are the democrats on the verge potentially of a political blood bath right now? >> it's the wooden spoon
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principle. the kids are running around the kitchen squawking, causing trouble. you have one spoon, one is beyond your reach so you hit the other one. president obama is within reach. also he had the responsibility. people understand this problem was created under the republicans but he offered a promise as to how he would fix it and that promise has not come true. the things he said would work have not worked. >> then we followed up with another question about independents who are so critical they will hold the balance of power as you know, donna. back in august, choice for congress among independents not democrats, not republicans, 46%. in august, a month ago, said they prefer the republicans. 38% said they prefer the democrats. now only a few weeks later 62% of the independents say they prefer the republicans. 30% prefer the democrats. those independents are critical and the democrats are losing. >> wolf, this is still early. now the independents and others are looking at a generic
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scenario. do you want a "d" or an "r?" they fired the republican candidates in 2006 and 2008 but they have to decide come this fall if they want candidate x, candidate y. if they have to decide they want a candidate that will continue to put forward policies that will try to get us out of this ditch or they want a candidate that will repeat the mistakes of the past. i think as we get closer to the election, not today, but when we get closer, when there is a contest between david and donna, people will decide based on the candidates not just the party label. >> let me throw a monkey wrench into that, david. maybe you disagree with me but usually, donna, you've been covering, watching, assessing politics a long time, by labor day, before an election in early november, folks have basically made up their minds. >> well, that's not always the case, wolf. three weeks out i normally hit the panic button. right now the race is still being settled. it's like a kiccake that hasn't
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geled yet. >> sometimes it gets bigger, sometimes it gets smaller. in recent years it got a lot bigger. a lot of disaffected republicans moved into that envelope. those people are now returning home massively. they may still be in many ways irritated with their old party but they certainly prefer republican answers to democratic answers. that's when we felt in 2010 especially as all of those unemployed young people have dropped off the voter registration rolls are not voting. >> because if the president, he was on fire today in milwaukee. he was trying to energize his base. if he starts doing that, a little bit more often between now and november 2nd, what i hear you saying is he might get some of those young independents back. >> wolf, first of all you just hit the real crux of the election for democrats, enthusiasm. we have a large enthusiasm gap. the republicans are highly motivated. they are motivated because they want candidates who will try to block obama's agenda. democrats will become motivated. wolf, we're like the people who come to the party. we sit around and look and get a drink and then we move.
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right now the democrats are just sitting around. they will move and they will vote. >> the president powerfully demoted them today. >> who? >> his potential voters. >> the independents or the base? >> this base. to announce his answer to the failure of previous stimulus to achieve the effect in the proper time is to spend $50 billion over six years, that is a run up to his re-election. it is not going to do much for congressional democrats who need some kind of relief now. he decided against things that would make a short term difference, against the investment tax credit and against the payroll tax. >> what did you think of the president's deviating from his advanced script, his text, and saying, his critics, didn't define him precisely but republicans we assume talk about him like a dog. >> well, that's true. i mean, they have called him everything but you know what. look, i don't believe in name calling. i don't think that helps the situation. but the truth is that this president has to get out there this fall. he has to become an asset to those candidates where he is still popular across the
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country, get the base motivated and try to win this election. >> that was a sign of weakness and a complaint. a candidate should never do that. he should go to the bill clinton school of politics as donna would probably tell him because you never, ever complain. once you show that you are upset about how they are treating you, suddenly voters get the idea i thought you were working for me. i thought i was the center of this story, not your feelings or ego. >> we're going to have more on the comment the president makes. when he says the critics are treating him like a dog. >> they call him a lot of things that are not godly, i can tell you that much. >> a top u.s. military official in afghanistan, now warning the troops, american troops, young men and women could be at ris fk american if americans start burning the koran this weekend. plus, it could hold the answers to what caused that massive bp
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>> it's milestone in the worst
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environmental disaster in u.s. history. the blowout preventer has been raised to the surface and it could answer critical questions about the spill. what do we know, brian? >> well wolf, when admiral thad allen ordered them to go ahead and bring up the blowout preventer, he noted its forensic value. the deep water horizon criminal investigation team. investigators are expected to take it apart, looking for clues on why the blowout preventer failed and who's to blame? will they find evidence of negligence the operators or the owners bp? it could become exhibit a. this animation is a working blowout preventer. it has valves and for
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emergencies. why didn't these steal jaws just snap shut? they'll check the hydraulics or was it just very bad luck. every so often there's a joint in the pipe where it's a lot thicker. it may be the last clue they get. you see it here in sonar pictures. it's considered way too heavy to raise to the surface. >> is it well dead for sure? >> they know faced the blout preventer with a working blowout preventer. admiral allen announced over the weekend this well is no longer a threat for the gulf. >> thanks very much. after the powerful earthquake on the other side of the world, new
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magnitude earthquake. >> here in christ's church, the energy is far from over. there have been more than 60 aftershocks since the initial quake i riped through the center, demolishing entire streets. we heard so many stories of surviv survival. the owner of this taxi just got out of his car to smoke a cigarette when this building collapsed. glass, debris, piece of furniture, bricks falling out of building ps .police have closed off most of the city. the central business district is expected to remain closed for several days if not weeks. authorities are focussing on getting clean water to residents. the main water supply has been
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contaminated by bursz pipes. the total remare bill for all of this damage is expected to come to $2 million. >> a blunt warning from top u.s. military commanders in afghanistan. i'll speak with lieutenant general william caldwell of the united states army. like father and son, new hints that control over north carolina's secretive stalin-esque regime will remain a family affair. craigslist blocks its cult services ads. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world.
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plans by a church to burn copies of the koran has brought about protests in kabul calling death to america. >> we're not debating the first amendment rights they have, but their actions will affect the safety of the men and women serving in uniform and undermine the very mission we're trying to accomplish. i would hope they understand there are second and third-orders that will occur
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that's out there serving their nation today because of their actions back in the united states. >> and so if -- in other words, this is causing already a big stir in afghanistan is that what i'm hearing? even the notion that someone is going to go burn the koran on the anniversary of 9/11, this is already causing a lot of consternation there? >> it is. among the afghan people. that's correct. it eers their holy book. when somebody said they're going to destroy that and cause a desecration to something very sacred to them, it's stirred up consternation among the people with pe believe this can jeopardije jeopardize the safety of men and women that serve our country. >> let's take a closer look at the plan to start burning copies of the koran. the controversy certainly is growing.
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what's latest on this uproar? the general saying the lives of the military personnel are in danger. >> general petraeus weighed in and said virtually the last same thing. the lives of soldiers could be put in dangering as well as endangering the entire mission in afghanistan. and it seems incredibly unbelievable that this uproar over what amounts to a nondenomination church in gainesville, florida, which has a membership of 50, that's right, 50 people, and now this outreach center put on its website and on facebook, announcing that on 9/11, they would go ahead and burn korans. not because they have any hostility towards muslim people, they say, but because they do not believe in what they call the teachings, the strict
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teachings, the radical teachings of islam. and they say that those radical teachings, they want to bring those to the attention of the american people. now, an affiliate station caught up with terry jones, the pastor at this church in gainesville and asked him his reaction to what the generals are saying today. >> if out of this if some type retaliation should take place, we're deeply sorry for that. if people should lose their life, that would be tragic. still, i must say that we feel that we must sooner or later stand up to islam. and if we don't, it's not going to go away. >> jones insist he is has to do this now, that he cannot back do down. he says it's a matter of tant standing up to what he calls radical islam. when i talked to him later this
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afternoon on the phone, i said now, are you absolutely going to go ahead with this? is the door not open based on what you're hearing from u.s. generals that the lives of american soldiers could be in danger? and he says, well, the door is still open. wolf? >> what does that mean? he might become down and not start burning the koran? >> that's what he indicated to me. on the one hand saying that, but on the other hand saying we still have to go through with this. >> does he need some sort of permit to carry this out in the. >> absolutely. he applied twice to the city of gainesville for a permit. he's planning a bonfire and says he's received over 200 korans in the mail sent to him from people who have seen what's posted on both his website and on facebook. but he's going to go ahead with it, he says. at this point, even though the city of gainesville has said you can't do it. bottom line is, all that would
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happen if he goes ahead with this bonfire is a fine. >> john, thank you. iran produced another ton of low enriched uranium between last november and this august, that according to the latest report from the international atomic nrch agency. that brings iran's total stockpile to more than three tons. the uranium can be used as fuel for nuclear reactors, but the report says they remain conce concerned about possible nuclear weapons. iran says the program is for peaceful purposes. a cnn investigation has resulted in a major policy change over at the popular online classified service craigslist. it's now censoring the adult services section after complaints that ads that may enable prostitution, human trafficking and assaults on women.
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>> what are you guys doing to protect these girls? you guys say in the blog that you will remove any ad that looks like the person might be suggesting they're going to offer sex. look at this ad. it says young, sexy, sweet and bubbly. clearly here she writes $250 an hour. what do you think she's selling in her bra and underwear, a dinner date? and she's in her bra and underwear. >> have you reported this to us? >> you say you screen these manually. >> have you reported this to us? >> why do i have the responsibility to report this to you on your website. you're the one posting this online. i just want to know, i mean -- okay.
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we've run into a lot of victims and a lot of advocates that pretty much call your site the walmart of child sex trafficking. >> let's bring in amber right now. craigslist, it appears, has now made a significant change. what are you hearing? >> we have not heard back from craigslist on 100% if this is a permanent thing. but if you head to any craigslist site you'll see this black bar that said censored over the adult services section. and it appears maybe craigslist lost its years long bat toll keep thf adults services open. sometimes children and women are being sex trafficked under the site against their will. and they've been calling on craigslist to do a better job to screen the ads to make sure there are not sex trafficking victims. but despite everything craigslist said they were doing, we created this ad and it has code words that victim advocates
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said this could be a victim being trafficked. sweet new girl. we put a price. this ad ended up posting online even though craigslist said they're screening the ad. not every woman or man is being sex trafficked. we went to talk to every side of the story, the prostitutes, to see what they think of the shut down. we're walking in an area of baltimore called the block. this is where a lot of prostitutes hang out. we asked them how they feel about the fact that the adults services section has been shut down. and frankly a lot of them are saying that the business moves. so it doesn't really matter. >> you no longer have 90% of your clients. >> you're not worried at all? >> no. and there's always strip clubs.
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there's always track. i mean, someone somewhere wants to spend some money on you. >> and that woman we were just speaking with as well as others we've talked to said they're going to start selling themselves on backpage.com. victim aven vict victim advocates have criticized this site as well. take a look at this ad. it says craigslist adult services closed permanently. post your ads on adultsearch.com. which is yet another site. so it seems to mean this business is just shift popping. >> i guess there's a lot of sites out there that folks, if they want to do this, they can do it beyond craigslist and even this other one. >> that's what this all boils down to. the communications dekrenly act that says these crites are not responsible for what users post on them.
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even if people are sex trafficking children and women, these sites aren't liable for those ads. wolf? >> thanks, amber very, very much. >> right now, the tea party movement's biggest gamble yet. we go one-on-one with sharron angle in nevada. she's trying to unseat the senate majority leader harry reid. and some intriguing developments are fuelling speculation that north korea's kim jung-il may be laying the ground work for his successor. and president obama's fiery speech nud milwaukee. he's lashing out, saying his critics are talking about me like a dog. ing should be avoide. colace capsules stool softener helps ease straining to make going easier. try colace capsules for effective comfortable relief from occasional constipation. find the relief that's right for you and get a $10 rebate at getconstipationrelief.com.
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and /7 roaide assiance. beusen y ce the st bif, faaronar >> the tea party movement may be rolling the dice by supporting sharron angle. she's running for the seat held by harry reid. jim? >> reporter: there's no doubt the tea party is on a roll. there's one question facing this political movement, and that's whether tea party contenders are too conservative to beat their democratic opponents. that's a question that's dogged
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sharron angle. >> take our government back. >> reporter: sharron angle might be the tea party's biggest challenge yet. she has a tendency to shoot from the rip. >> he's been water boarding our commune for over a year now. >> reporter: with rhetoric like that, angle came out of nowhere and snatched up the endorsements of tea party leaders including sarah palin and won the nomination for the race for u.s. senate. her next opponent -- the gop's crime target. >> would like to see him go away. >> i would like to dump him. >> reporter: one of the most pow powerful democrats in washington. will you be a tea party senator in the senate when you get in there. >> i don't know what that means. i'll be a mainstream senator, how's that? >> reporter: but others point to her past call to dramatically reduce the size of government by
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gettingry of the department of education and energy and the epa and irs. she also made comments on talk radio. >> this congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking towards the second amendment remedies saying my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around? and i'll tell you, the first thing we need to do is take harry reid out. >> what was that all about? >> those are not the inshssues t people are concerned about. >> reporter: in another, she agreed there's domestic enemies in the government. >> we have home grown enemies in our system and i for one think we have some of those in the walls in the senate and the congress. >> i think you're right, bill. the focus of that larger conversation is what has happened here domestically what
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what's happen in the last 18 months. >> do you think harry reid is an enemy -- >> i don't think anyone named any names. those weren't my words. >> reporter: angle's comments on social security now star in reid's ads. she accuses reid of taking her out of context. >> as you're conversationally speaking, sometimes when you pick out words they're not the best words you could have used. >> reporter: but many in her own party worry angle is a risky bet. 71% prefer a different candidate. good thing for angle, reid is just as unpopular. harry reid is the most negatively viewed person in this state. and there is a hardened opposition to him. i mean, i think sharron angle could be arrested on a felony tomorrow and could still get 0% of the vote. >> reporter: we also caught up
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with harry reid who stands by his ads that paint angle has extreme. >> she says a lot of what she said was taken out of context. what is your response to that? >> it's hard to take out of the context when someone says they want to end social security and medicare. your words are who you are, my words are who i am. >> reporter: sharron angle has two more months to convince voters to deal her in. angle has spent two months trying to soften her image. but make no mistake, she's the one kandaharry reid wants to run against most of call. . >> is the pendulum swinging away from democrats in pennsylvania. we're in pittsburgh with the cnn election express. a state once very friendly to the democrats, house races,
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senate races, gubernatorial contests. but it's a battle ground right now, gloria. >> this state went solidly for barack obama. we went to a parade today. but when i went to a coffee shop down the road, i met with someone who called himself a conservative democrat, and it was very clear that he's got a lot of concerns with the democratic-controlled congress. take a listen. >> i would like to see the congress do things more to help people to get realjobs and make them work. not work to get more handouts or get more extensions on worker's comp and unemployment. and things like that. i want people to start working again.
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>> reporter: do you think republican control would mean that? >> like i said, i'm democrat conservati conservative. whether it's about democrat or republican, it's about going to work. being out there, producing something, being proud of yourself, being proud of you're family and telling your family how hard you work and how hard you're working to try to make things right for them. >> you know, wolf, it's very clear that these voters believe that the change that barack obama brought isn't really working for them. they're concerned about big government. as you heard, from the hop owner, there's a lot more out there here in pittsburgh. >> and the enthusiasm gap between democrats and republicans i take it has been pretty evident to you in pennsylvania right now? >> yeah. it really is. barack obama's popularity is 37%.
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only about 1/3 of the voters who voted for barack obama in the 2008 election say they're actually going to vote in the midterms. as you know, wolf, the midterms are all about turnout, all about enthusiasm, all about getting your voters out there. and if these democrats, particularly the young voters decide to stay home. if labor decides to stay home which supported this president, then he's going to have, and his candidates down the line are going to have a lot of problems, even if n a state like. if there's a wave coming at you, it can be very, very difficult to battle that, even with more resources. thousands more u.s. troops are needed in afghanistan.
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>> kate baldwin is monitoring other situations right now. what do you have? >> one of two methods to reach the miners in chile were temporarily halted today. there's a problem with the cable but they expected it to be fixed within an hour. a third and faster method could begin with the arrival of an oil drill. in pakistan an attacker drove a vehicle filled with explosives into a police building. nine of those killed were officers. the other eight were civilians. today's attack follows a suicide bombing that killed more than 70 people friday in southern pakistan. and one of the so-called little rock nine has died. jefferson thomas was among the black students who braved white mobs in 1967 to integrate
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central high school in little rock, arkansas, under the watch of federal troops. he went on to become a defense department accountant and in his retirement, he worked to promote racial harmony and also supported young people seeking higher education. jefferson thomas was 67 years old. wolf? >> our condolences to his family. we'll get back to you, kate. the president complains that his political foes talk about him, and i'm talking about him, and i'm quoting him now, like a dog. is he starting to fight back? my interview with u.s. army-general william caldwell coming uh. and like father like son. is north korea's dick tar ttato looking to keep control in the family? guaranteed for as long as you is thisyyourcphone?ey, th!
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. >> we reported yesterday the strong concern expressed by top military commanders a church's plan to burn muslim holy books the koran this saturday, this weekend may put american troops at risk. meanti meantime, the u.s. is looking to boost troop strength in afghanistan right now. let's get back to the car zone for an overall picture of the u.s. mission there. and joining us now from kabul,
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lieutenant general of the united states army. general caldwell, thanks very much for joining us. there's a story brewing right now. i wonder if you could clarify a story that general petraeus is asking for 2,000 more troops to help in training and combat beyond the approximately 100,000 who are already there or on the way. is that report true? >> as we're looking to professionalize the force, there is going to be more requirements as we take them from a war fighting force now to a more specialized force. yes, there will be an increasing number of trainers that will be required in support of the nato training mission over the next coup coming year. >> you've been back in
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afghanistan for about a year. what is your understanding of what the july 2011 state means. there's some confusion what that july date means. >> well what the president has recently said, it's the beginning of a process. and based on conditions on the ground, they're going to make an assessme assessment how many forces will stay here. . >> i want you to listen to what general james conway has sad. >> we know the president was talking to several audiences at the same time when he made his comments on july 2011. in some way, we think right now
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it's probably giving our enemy sustenance. we think he may be saying to himself, we've intercepted communications that say hey, we only have to hold out for so long. >> he seems to be saying this is a mistake because it's giving, in his words, sustenance to the enemy over there, thinking, you know, just hold on. the u.s. is about to get out. explain how you reacted when you heard general conway's comments? >> well, wolf, the thing i would tell you is our secretary of defense has been very clear, we're going to be here many years. if the taliban or some other insurgent element means july 11 means there's not going to be a u.s. presence, they're sadly mistaken. what it is, it's the beginning of a process, and they're going to take a look at that point what the can bes on the ground are and how many fighting forces are still required to be here. >> i interviewed the former u.n. special envoy to afghanistan last week. and he had some strong words.
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listen to what he said to me. and then we' eel discuss two points he makes. >> it's really immoral to send troops to fight in a mission they can't succeed at because again, you don't have that credible partner. so what i would say is protecting the nonpashtun part where is the taliban is not present and kabul, you could do that with 10,000 troops instead of 100,000. >> do you believe general caldwell that the u.s. troops, the nato troops in afghanistan have a credible partner in aft gan stan? -- afghanistan? >> wolf, i do. each day i deal with the ministers in defense and interior. they're my partners and i'm in constant dialogue with them and i feel they're a credible partner. i share the same goals and aspiration. they very much want to see their forces able to take over the responsibility for the security and the feature of this
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government and what they're going to do for the people here in afghanistan. so i'm comfortable where we are and what we're doing. i see them committed to this mission. i see them dialoguing on a daily basis, how they can help us provide support to them to enable them to take the lead and be responsible. >> galbraith also says it's not really achievable to defeat the taliban. have a much more modest objective in afghanistan and reduce presence down to 10,000 troops. what do you say to that? >> one of the things we have to do is we have to enable the afghan security force to be able to take the responsibility and the lead for the security here in their country. that's the major objective right now. especially the mission we have responsibility for. we want to help grow and specialize them so they become enduring and sufl sustaining and
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no longer need our support. we have seen progress in the last 10, 11 months we've been here in the country. progress is taking place. it's going to take time. it's not going to happen overnight, but i think what most people have to understand is there's change that has occurred here in this country and there's a difference that's starting to be made. >> a lot of americans are getting the impression, general caldwe caldwell, the situation is deteriorating. corruption in afghanistan seems to be on the rise. and the taliban seems to be gaining strength. when we talk about progress, we're getting a different impression watching the war from this side. >> i think most people tried to understand as additional coalition came in there would be an increase in casualties.
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we would see an increase as more engagements occurred. so that was not unexpected at all, but rather was something that people had anticipated and knew would occur as additional engagements occurred. >> lieutenant general william caldwell is the commander general of the nato training mission in afghanistan. thanks so much, general. good luck, be careful over there. we'll see you when we come back to washington. >> thanks very much, wolf. >> president obama says his critics, and i'm quoting now, talk about me like a dog. details of his fiery campaign-style speech today. what impact will it really have? ?
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>> president obama went on the offensive today, lashing out at political opponents who he say talk about him like a dog. listen to the president today in milwaukee. >> when it comes to just about everything we've done to strengthen our middle class, to rebuild our economy, almost every republican in congress says no.
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even on things we usually agree on, they say no. if i said the sky was blue, they would say no. if i said fish live in the sea, ne they'd say no. they just think it's better to score political points before an election than so solve problems. so they said no to help for small businesses, even when the small businesses said we desperately need this. that used to be their key constituency, they said. they said no. no to middle class tax cuts. they say let's give tax cuts. okay, let's give tax cuts into the middle class. they said no. they drove the economy into a ditch. we got in there, put in on our
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boots and we got in there and we're shoving and they're standing on the side sipping on a slurpie. and they say how come you're not pushing harder? and finally we get the car out. it's got a few dents and dings. it's got some mud on it. it's going to need some work. but they point at it and say look what they did to your car. after we got it out of the ditch. and then they have the nerve to ask for the keys back. i don't want to give the keys back. they don't know how to drive. n they're not always happy with me. they talk to me like a dog.
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that's not in my prepared remark, but it's true. >> we'll talk about that with john king. he join us us from pittsburgh. when i heard him make that comment about his critics talking about him like a dog, i sort of jumped out and said wow. but how's it playing out there? '. >> wolf, a lot of democrats would say where's that guy been? the president was looser today. he was funny today. he was also very pointed in trying to make a connection with the union workers behind him. and that's critically important. where he was in wisconsin today and right here in pennsylvania. this state has an open governor's race. the republican is currently leading. an open senate seat. the republican is currently leading. and the republicans think they can pick up two, maybe three congressional seats. if they do that well in this state, going east to west, you will know there's a republican wave. and one of the things that the democrats say is critical is to stop especially white blue collar union workers.
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today when he was speaking, wolf, he said medicare, to the to the, the minimum wage, they all have the union label. the president is trying to tell the union workers what the republicans would do if they get the congress back would threaten the progress the president said has been made. the president strategically doing something many democrats wish he had done months ago. 57 days to election day, though. the question is where will the president be welcome from here on out and where is he not so welcome. he plans to appear over in philadelphia where he's more popular. democrats on this side of the state, they're more dicey. they say former president clinton or michelle obama would do better on this side of the state. >> how important is pittsburgh for the president and the democrats? >> well, look, it's a traditional blue collar city. this was once the capital of
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steel. the labor movement is not as big as it used to be. but this will be a key test of whether the democrats can close the intensity gap. we know right now it was the democrats in 2006 and 2008 who had all the energy at the grass roots. when you talk to people here and the union guys will tell you this privately. the democratic candidates will tell you this privately. the energy is on the other side now. can the president help gin up vote? maybe. can the labor unions help gin up the vote, they're going to be involved in a multimillion dollar effort here. between eight and 12 times, every household will hear from the union. phone call, visit them at work, they're trying to convince them, do not vote republican. we'll see if it works. and we'll know in this part of the state and the others by again two or three. there's a congressional seat near pittsburgh the republicans have targeted. another one up to the northwest corner of the state up in erie, the republicans have targeted. and a coup until east side as we. whether labor can turn that tide is critical.
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>> and john will have a lot more going on at the top of the hour. john king usa, he's got a road trip on the road this week. all in the family as north korea's powerful leader not taking steps to pass control to one of his sons. stay with us.
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my joints ache so bad, i wake up in pain every day. i want to know why. i want to know why my hair is falling out. how did this happen? how did this happen? a little pain in my knee. that's how it started. that's how it started, this rash on my face. now it's like my body is attacking me. i want answers. announcer: when you don't have the right answers, it may be time to ask your doctor the right question. could i have lupus? i know who works differently than many other allergy medications. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation.
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side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for $11 at omnaris.com. there are hints that control over the secretive stalinist regir regime in north key korea will remain a family affair. >> it was reported a couple of
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weeks ago that kim jong-il took his third son to china, possibly to introduce him as his likely successor. it's not entirely clear whether the son was on that trip, but western intelligence agencies are clearly watching this and are concern about the potential new leadership in north korea. it's the biggest political gathering in north korea in decades. the so-called workers party congress where the regime's unpredictable hermetic leader will announce changes at the top. that may well mean he'll lay the ground work for his third son to take his place, a transition that has many in western intelligence worried about what comes next. not much is known about kim jong-yung seen here in his teens. >> his third son, only in his 20s is the designated successor, but clearly does not have the
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party credentials behind him nor the leadership credentials that either his father or his grandfather had. >> and given that, could there be some real upheaval there? could military leaders step into the breach here? >> you know, it's very difficult question to answer. the internal politics of north korea. on the one hand, objectively speaking this looks like a situation that would be ripe for some sort of elite actions, elite coups. between the military or the party. on the other hand, people have been predicting the collapse of north korea for 25 years now. for now, intelligence services from seoul to washington are scrambling to learn about kim jong-yung. he's been pampered, went to boarding school in switzerland. they say he likely wouldn't change north korea's ambitions
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to develop nuclear weapons but say other details about him are a tightly held secret, even inside north korea. >> i'm sure that the korean people knew about luteally nothing about young mr. kim until thepraises. i suspect that a lot of the people in the elite didn't really know much about him. >> reporter: there may not be much time to find out. the father, kim jong-il is believed to be still suffering the effects of a stroke he reportedly had two years ago. analysts say one of his biggest mistakes as a leader was waiting until after that to start paving the way for his son. analysts tell us that by waiting, kim jong-il didn't give his son enough time to build his own power base with the most powerful elements in north korea, the communist party, the military and the security services. wolf, that could be a crucial breach there while he's waiting to build up that power. >> he has two older sons. why would he pick the younger one? >> the oldest son, kim jong-nam,
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was caught sneaking into disney world with a passport and the middle son very little is known but the father sees him as weak and unsuitable for the job. the third son also to take into consideration is said to look most like kim il-song, the grandfather. >> we'll watch. thanks very much, brian. some people following a popular diet may face a higher mortality risk, details. of a study just released. and a hurricane watch up for part of the u.s. gulf coast, dehails of the storm named hermine, and where it's heading next. en drinking tonight? if you ride drunk, you will get caught... and you will get arrested.
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kate bolduan is monitoring
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other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what else is going on? >> several things for you. first a hurricane watch is up for the south texas gulf coast into northern mexico, as tropical storm hermine closes in. the storm is expected to strengthen before making landfall possibly tonight. right now it's packing 60-mile-an-hour winds and could dump up to a foot of rain in some areas. forecasters are also warning of a storm surge up to four feet. a new study is raising new questions about the low carb/high protein diet known aps the atkins diet. researchers followed 130,000 people for at least 20 years and found those who got most of their protein from meat had higher mortality meat than those who ate mainly plant based protein, vegetables. the study is just out in "annals of internal medicine." actor john travolta wants to stop the trial of the two men
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accused of blackmailing him. he says they've taken a heavy emotional toll and want to put it behind them, the paramedics who apparently tried to blackmail travolta threatening to release details about the death of his 16-year-old son in 2009. this one, wolf, going to make you laugh. two montana teenagers sending text messages but these two teenagers sending text messages in search of marijuana got the wrong number, instead of texting a dealer they accidentally texted the local sheriff. a sting was set up at the 15 and 16-year-old, they were not arrested or charged. the sheriff says the boys' parents are handling the punishment. uh-oh. >> i think those boys are in trouble. >> a little bit. >> make sure you get the right number when you're texting. >> no, wolf, the message is to not smoke marijuana here. >> absolutely right. i stand corrected. thank you very much, kate. "the situation room" by the way is on facebook, you can go
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to facebook.com/cnnsituationroom, click on the "like" button to become a fan. get the latest show updates, exclusive behind the scenes material. it's one of the biggest battleground states in the upcoming midterm election and john king is in pennsylvania with the cnn election express. among his guests the governor, ed rendell. "john king usa" beginnings s at top of the hour. somewhere in america, there's a doctor who can peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant
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The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN September 6, 2010 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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